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Friday, January 23, 2009

Environmentalism and Being Concerned With What You Eat

A great book by Mark Bittman called Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating is discussed by the author himself in a video you can view here.

Here are some of the facts he points out:


  • you can't be concerned with the environment if you are not concerned with what you eat

  • in the UK and USA and some other first world countries, the daily consumption of meat per person and day is one-half of a pound

  • 10 billion animals are killed each year in the USA alone in order to supply that amount

  • 60 billion animals are killed each year globally in order to supply meat to the entire world

  • the world uses 70% of available farmland to produce these animals or food to feed them, in order to supply enough meat for global consumption

  • by 2050 the projected global animal consumption stands at 120 billion animals per day

  • further, in the USA each person eats another average of 1.5 pounds of other animal products per day, such as eggs, cheese, milk, etc.

  • of an approximate 3 lbs of food eaten per person per day, therefore, .5 lbs comes from meat, 1.5 lbs comes from animal-related products, and 1 lb comes from other sources

  • of that, only between 10% (of one pound) to .5 lbs comes from plants (fruit, vegetables, legumes, etc.)

By lowering animal consumption these are some of the results we would see:

  • decrease in green house gases

  • decrease in the incidence of obesity

  • decrease in cancer rates

  • decrease in diabetes rates
Mark Bittman is not suggesting the world become vegetarian, but he is suggesting we begin to process this kind of information and decide to make some responsible choices about what we eat from the point of view of the consequences of our choices on the ecology of the planet.


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